March 21, 2024

MHA Member Spotlight: Michele Martz

Michele Martz MHA Member Spotlight

Michele Martz
President, UPMC Western Maryland
MHA Board of Trustees Member

MHA: Why did you pursue a career in health care?
MM: As a first-generation college student, I majored in accounting, with a goal to attend law school. My dad passed away during my undergraduate studies, and I decided to go directly into the public accounting workforce with my first job at Deloitte, LLP in Pittsburgh. However, I felt that my mom and younger siblings could use my help back at home, so I returned to Cumberland, and got a job here in hospital finance. Even though I am not clinical, my healthcare career has afforded me the opportunity to make a difference in my community and to ensure that care is provided close to home. I like to share my story with our new hospital orientees, reminding them that life offers many opportunities and pathways that may lead us in directions that we never thought possible.

MHA: What are you most proud of in your career?
MM: I am most proud of the impact that UPMC Western Maryland makes in our community. Over my 35-year career, our team that has continuously transformed healthcare in western Maryland. In the mid-1990s, our boards and leaders had the vision to consolidate two local community hospitals into one system. We then took the leap to build a brand new, state-of-the-art facility that opened in Cumberland in 2009. In February 2020, we joined UPMC, ensuring that high-quality medical services would be available in western Maryland for future generations. Having access to local, life-saving medicine is critical to our community, as hospitals offering comparable services are an hour away from Cumberland in any direction. UPMC Western Maryland is also the largest employer in our region, with over 2,100 employees, and we serve as an important economic driver in our area.

MHA: What hospital program makes the most impact on your community?
MM: All of our service lines are critical to our community. Our UPMC Western Maryland Heart and Vascular Institute provides necessary cardiac care to many patients in our region who are struggling with cardiac disease and other chronic health conditions. We are proud to offer the only cardiac surgery program in Maryland that is west of Baltimore, and our cardiac surgeon, Dr. Mark Nelson, came back to his home town to establish this service line in 2000. This year, he will achieve a significant milestone of 5,000 cardiac surgeries performed. Our Schwab Family Cancer Center delivers high-quality cancer care and treatments to our local community, eliminating the need to travel for life-saving care. Several of my family members and friends have been the direct recipients of these critical services. And Maryland’s unique payment model has provided financial resources to implement local programs that will improve the health status of our community, while reducing the overall total cost of care, which is very significant in our rural area.

MHA: When you aren’t working, where can we find you?
MM: I love spending time with my family, as we have four adult children and three grandchildren. We enjoy watching and attending various sporting events, including WVU football and basketball games. We also enjoy traveling and seeing new places.

MHA: What are you reading and what are you watching?
MM: I’ve been reading “The Future is Faster Than You Think,” which provides a fascinating blueprint for how our world will change in response to the next ten years of rapid technological disruption. And my husband and I always enjoy watching episodes of The Big Bang Theory. It’s such a classic, creatively written show that just makes us laugh.